uses and functions of the app
The contents of this application, which include native bee and plant profile pages, along with extensive background and educational material in the form of guides, are designed to assist North American gardeners in the rewarding business of creating pollinator-friendly gardens.
While not intended as an identification guide for individual bee species, “Wild Bee ID” is designed to provide the user with an understanding and appreciation for the diversity of North American native bees, the tools to easily create habitat for them in our urban and suburban gardens and tips on how to recognize the different types of bees that will be visiting these gardens.
Plant Profile Pages
The plant profile pages will assist gardeners in selecting bee-friendly plants that are native to or otherwise suited to their region. The majority of plant genera we’ve included are native to North America, which for the purposes of this app is limited to the United States and Canada. Although plants are specified to the level of genus only, most of the plants we’ve selected have representative species in many regions of North America. Where possible, we’ve recommended a few of these regional species.
In addition to a description of each plant's North American distribution, characteristics and growing conditions, the plant profiles include a scrollable list of native bees that are most likely to visit that particular plant. Please note that individual species of each featured plant genus are likely to attract somewhat different sets of bees from the list, depending upon the North American region in which they are grown. For more information on any bee represented in the scroll bar, just tap on its icon and a profile of that bee genus will be displayed.
Bee Profile Pages
The app features North American bee genera, most of which are commonly encountered in urban and suburban landscapes. To help you identify these bees in your garden, the bee profile pages include beautiful close-up images of each bee, along with information on the North American distribution, seasonal appearance, and physical and behavioral characteristics of the genus.
Each bee profile page also provides a scrollable list of flowering plants commonly visited by bees belonging to that particular genus. Please note that individual species of each featured bee genus are likely to visit somewhat different sets of plants from the list, depending upon the North American region in which they are found. For more information on any plant represented in the scroll bar, just tap on its icon and a profile of that plant genus will be displayed.
The “Guides” have been developed to offer the user a comprehensive introduction to North American native bees and to provide practical advice about how to create habitat for these essential pollinators in our residential gardens. The Guides include sections on the role of native bees in our natural ecosystems, the ecology and lifecycles of native bees, how to create a successful bee garden, and how to identify the native bee visitors that will appear in these gardens.
It is our hope that individual gardeners across North America will use Wild Bee ID to learn about native bees, become actively involved in their conservation, and inspire their neighbors to do the same. For while saving our native bees, “one garden at a time,” is a great beginning, a collective effort on the part of a whole community can be that much more effective. By working together, we can blanket our residential landscapes with a BEE-UTIFUL patchwork quilt of wild bee gardens!